In my Monday post, “Neglected Wardrobe Areas – Part Two,” I wrote about my issues with finding pants that fit well and are flattering on my figure. In the comments to that post, I not only received lots of suggestions for finding pants (many thanks!), I also learned that many of you also struggle in the pants arena. Consequently, I decided to devote today’s useful links post to sharing resources to help us deal with these (usually) essential garments that can be troubling to find, wear, and love.
Pants are Tricky, But Online Resources Abound!
In this post, I share some links on the following topics:
- Proper pants fit
- Finding pants and jeans that fit
- The proper length for various types of pants (and tops to wear with pants)
- How to wear those tricky cropped trousers we see pretty much everywhere these days (for those who dare!)
I enjoyed revisiting some of these resources and learned some new tips to guide me on my upcoming pants shopping excursion (I’m still gearing up for that one!). I hope you find some useful nuggets of information among the links below!
Basic Information on Pants and Jeans
This first link comes from style expert extraordinaire, Imogen Lamport. According to Imogen, pants are the hardest garment for most women to fit (I don’t feel so bad now…). The most common fit issues involve the rise, which is the seam that runs from the front to the back between your legs. Imogen shares specific advice on how pants should fit, as well as the types of pants that work best for various body types (if you’re unsure of your body type, be sure to check out Imogen’s comprehensive guide).
This guide is courtesy of TLC and includes an excellent video on the first page from Stacy London and Clinton Kelly of “What Not to Wear” fame. While the article is good in its own right, the video is the best part! In a short two-minute video, Stacy and Clinton outline their basic tips to finding the perfect jeans. Well worth a watch! The actual article covers finding the best pants cut, the leg style that looks best on you, and issues related to pants rise.
This post delves into challenges that are specific to finding jeans. Topics covered include pocket placement, jeans styles, color, and designer denim. The author also covers how to find the proper rise and length for you. Lots of images are included to illustrate key points.
Issues of Length…
Sally McGraw of Already Pretty receives lots of reader requests for topics to cover on her popular blog. In this classic post, Sally addresses the tricky issue of the proper length for pants and jeans. Using many helpful images, Sally covers how long pants and jeans should be when worn with both flats and heels. Since I see many women, even those who are very petite, wearing pants that are too short, I wish more people would heed Sally’s wonderful advice!
One blog that I haven’t featured yet in my useful links posts is You Look Fab. The author, Angie, is a seasoned fashion professional who offers useful advice on many style-related topics. Although I’ve significantly pared down the fashion blogs I read (to avoid too much shopping temptation!), You Look Fab remains on my must-read list.
In this “oldie but goodie” post, Angie discusses the proper length for tops worn over pants. This is particularly important for those of us with bottom-heavy figures (Angie calls us “pretty pears”). If you aren’t happy with your pants outfits, it’s worth considering how the length of your tops (if you don’t tuck them in) might be impacting the equation.
Speaking of Angie from “You Look Fab,” she is interviewed in this article on the Style by Karen blog. This comprehensive post covers length and fit issues for many types of bottom garments, from jeans to cropped pants to walking shorts. The issue of “perfect pant length” (PPL for short) is a passionate topic for Angie and she lays out her best tips in response to Karen’s questions. Not only is this post chock full of sage advice, there are many photos included to solidify Angie’s excellent points.
When You Have Larger Thighs…
2017 Update… I was recently informed that one of the links above was broken and given the proper link so I could make the correction. At that time, I was also advised of a few great posts to help women with larger and/or more muscular legs find good-fitting jeans and pants. Check out there informative articles on a great new blog called My Casual Style:
- Tips and Ideas for Jeans for Big Thighs and Small Waist
- 6 Fashion Tips for Women with Big Thighs
- Flattering Pants for Big Thighs: 8 Best Ideas
Those Tricky Cropped Pants!
For many years, whether or not capri pants are flattering has been a polarizing issue in the style world. However, this past year, the stores have been so jam-packed with ankle-length pants that it’s been difficult to find almost any other styles! Many of us have decided to avoid all types of cropped pants outright, but some may want to dip their toes in the water.
If you’re in the latter category, check out this guest post written by Imogen Lamport for Fabulous After 40. Imogen even addresses the types of tops and shoes one should pair with capris. If you follow Imogen’s tips (as always, wonderfully illustrated with colorful images), you’ll have a much better chance of successfully navigating the tricky waters surrounding cropped trousers.
Do You Have Anything to Add?
Okay, enough about pants for now! As usual, I welcome your comments, as well as links to other useful resources related to finding pants and jeans. If I keep the nerve, I’ll be venturing out to the shops to try on pants and jeans over the weekend. Please send some positive vibes my way… Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!
There are so many choices of colour, style, and fit out there these days. It can be overwhelming but those links are helpful to narrow down the choices.
I would suggest you try on many pairs in a dark colour so you can clearly see which ones would fit you better before choosing your colour. You might want to take photos while trying them on. It may help you see in a different perspective. (For me, it helps to make better and quick decisions, instead of hemming and hawing far too long in the store.) Wish you all the best on finding your perfect pair!
Thanks for your suggestions, Rochelle. I’ve never taken photos of myself in the store, but I’ve seen other people do it and think it’s a good idea. I DO tend to hem and haw for too long in the store and sometimes it really stresses me out. I’ve gone this long without buying new pants, so it might be worth it to take my time and make sure I make the best decisions.
Just for info( I am one of the lucky ones who does not ever have issues with finding pants or jeans to suit me)but for those who do- there is an excellent website called” http://www.dressipi.com” out of the UK. You can join up for free and enter in your measurements, height,etc and it will use that info to provide advice on the best styles of all clothing including jeans and pants for your shape as well as what you should avoid (it is used by Marks&Spencer’s website as well when you shop them online). It is a very useful tool, well worth exploring and best of all it is free.
You are SO lucky that you can easily find pants and jeans, Abgurl. I’m jealous… 🙂 Thanks so much for letting us know about Dressipi. Looks like a wonderfully useful tool and I look forward to checking it out further.
I have a terrible time with pants, too. None of these articles addressed my problem — being an apple shape. Carrying weight in your stomach, with slim hips/butt/thighs, is the opposite of what most jeans are designed for. Altering jeans is next to impossible, unless it’s a lightweight, trouser-style denim, and even then, you can’t increase the rise to make up for more stomach, less butt. I even tried men’s jeans, which were a disaster b/c the thighs were huge. Frankly, I don’t think I will ever again find jeans that fit. If you or any of your readers have suggestions, I’m open to any ideas!
PS. On the days where I used to venture forth to try to find pants, I used advice from my mom — wear slip-on shoes and a short tee shirt dress. No need to take anything off to try on pants. Eased the frustration quite a bit.
I’m sorry none of the links were helpful for you, Elizabeth. I think that certain body types have it harder than others and at certain times. A few (or maybe it was more like 5!) years ago, I remember being able to find FAR more pants geared toward my body type and now it’s very slim pickings! The next time there are some wider-legged styles available, I will jump on it and buy 3-5 pairs.
I see you got some suggestions from Abgurl and I hope they are helpful. I wish more brands would have body type options as well as sizes. Many say they do, but the fit is quite similar. For example, I tried on the straight, slightly curvy, and curvy jeans at Eddie Bauer on Sunday and the fit wasn’t all that different. Although the slightly curvy fit the best, the pants stayed in the store as they were still very snug in the legs (I can’t do tight legs do to a nerve problem). I’ve had similar issues at Gap and other retailers who carry tall pants.
I tried to find some specific resources on pants and jeans for apple shapes, but they are all more general guidelines and don’t really mention brand names and styles. I’m guessing that you know what to look for but just can’t find it. That’s my situation… If I find anything for you, I will let you know, but maybe we’ll both have to wait to find good pants for our body types. I haven’t given up yet, but I didn’t find anything over the weekend. I did find a great skirt, though! Silver linings…
There’s a silver lining in your skirt? Cool! 😉
I hope I didn’t sound critical of your post! I’m critical of my body and pants, not your blog,which I dearly love.
For now, I’m ignoring all those who say yoga pants aren’t real pants and wearing them until something better comes along.
I didn’t think you were critical. It’s hard to find really specific and good advice. I shared the best links I had bookmarked previously, but pants can be SO tricky! Some yoga pants are actually pretty nice and if you combine them with nice pieces, you can create a lovely outfit. We have to do the best we can with what we have to work with. I keep wearing pants from 2010 or earlier and keep hoping I’ll be able to buy new ones soon. Until then, I’ll just be grateful I have pants to wear and can find fun new skirts to buy sometimes.
There are a number of clothing websites out there that offer their clothing based on your shape(apple, pear, etc) although most are in the UK( but do ship to where ever). One off the top of my head is http://www.evans.co.uk or another is http://www.curvissa.co.uk. My roomie has the exact same shape as you and we have found that for her the new straight slim leg style looks and fits amazingly( here in Canada it can be found at http://www.reitmans.ca/her‘s is a clothing dilemma as she is a 1 or 2X top size as she has the bust to with the apple belly couples with broad shoulders and yes she does have to get the 2X tops altered in the width of arms and abit through the sides otherwise it looks like a box shape but she has slim hips, butt and thighs like you mention so she takes a much smaller size in bottoms and the “slim straight leg” fits very well – again though as Debbie and others have mentioned -get the pants to fit your hips(and the rise) and then you can have a seamstress take in the waist as it is likely to be big. Oh one more resource that could help is Old Navy.com and .ca has come out with the slim straight leg jeans for men- they may be the answer but would likely require the waist to be taken in in your case
Thanks so much for offering these resources to Elizabeth and others, Abgurl! I hope that one of these sites is helpful for Elizabeth and that others take advantage of the resources, too. I may have to go the online route, but I’m SO picky that I usually end up ordering and returning a lot of things when I order online.
I think that some plus-size lines do better at cutting clothing for the apple-shape figure. I shopped with several plus-size clients with apple shapes and we actually had better luck with pants than with tops. I know Elizabeth is not plus-sized, though, so she probably has a more difficult time, as most standard sizes as of late seem to cut pants for the rectangle or ruler shape figures. My friends who have that figure have no idea why I never buy new pants, as they find pants easily whenever they try.
Oh for jeans- there was one more resource I forgot to add Elizabeth or anyone else looking for the perfect fit for their particular shape and they are not expensive ! It is a company out of New York I believe called http://www.makeyourownjeans.com. You provide exactly what you want in terms of measurements and rise. They have numerous style and fabric weight(demin) including the ability to have custom colored jeans made.
I may have to give this one a try, Abgurl! If I do, I will make sure to blog about it. Maybe I will finally be able to get a pair of burgundy jeans…
Great post as usual Debbie. I am a “pretty pear” who is 5’10” tall and slightly on the slim end of the spectrum. ( I am just genetically endowed to carry my weight on my hips and the top of my thighs.) And I have not EVER found this much useful information! And thanks to all you who posted comments. SO useful!
Here’s what I do when buying pants for my long pear shape– buy pants that are 1-2 sizes larger and focus only on getting the rise and thighs to fit. And then tailor the pants to fit. It’s expensive but when you sit in front of a computer for hours, you need to be sure that you’re not cutting off circulation!
One more thing. I have a sewing machine and do simple alterations myself. Saves me tons of money. I am self-taught and not meticulous but no one scrutinizes your seams.
Hi Kate! It sounds like we have very similar figures, as I am also 5’10,” relatively slim, and am genetically endowed to carry weight on my hips and upper thighs. I’m so glad you found this post helpful!
Thanks for adding your tips to the mix. I have to tailor pretty much all of my pants, but it’s usually consisted of taking in the waist and letting down the hem (for as much length as possible). I sometimes buy one size larger, but then I can have problems with a “saggy seat” (my rear is moving South in my late forties – LOL). You’re brave to do your own alterations. I know it would save me a lot of money, but I don’t think sewing is my forte!